Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The last Conor Oberst post ever, I swear

I may have been a bit too hasty in my dismissal of Bright Eyes' protest song, "When the President Talks to God." Upon further inspection, I've discovered a troubling accusation against our current commander-in-chief that I feel deserves investigation. Mr. Oberst, your anthem may have more layers than an onion. I apologize.
Let's look at the final verse again:
When the president talks to God
Does he ever think that maybe he's not?
That that voice is just inside his head
When he kneels next to the presidential bed
Does he ever smell his own bullshit
When the president talks to God?

Oh my god! I can't believe I overlooked the explosive allegations in the second to last line! I have been shamed! This question, "Does he ever smell his own bullshit?" is a disturbing one. Oberst has, apparently, been given covert information. I don't know who his sources are, but I'm going to assume they are from the highest level of our federal government. Evidently, when our president defecates, this defecation is colloquially referred to as "bullshit," and the possibility exists that he may catch a whiff of this excretion. I assumed this statement to be a metaphor representing Bush's deceptions. However, if this line were a mere metaphor, the line would obviously have been delivered as, "Does he ever smell his own shit?" Instead, Oberst has cleverly and slyly revealed to us that our president excretes "bullshit." What a bombshell! We have been clued in, finally, to the horrible truth that our president is either a magical bull who has cloaked himself in human disguise, or a half-man, half-bull creature hell-bent on destroying the earth through secret missives delivered by "God," obviously a code name for either a sinister zookeeper or an even larger, more powerful super-bull, or bull-man. God help us all, and my apologies to you, Captain Bright Eyes. Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

Reading: Essays in Pragmatism by William James
Listening to: some radio show and Chappaquiddick Skyline

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Mary P Pants. Here goes:
1. Total number of books owned: This will be no fun to count, so I'll estimate. More than 10, less than 100 billion.
2. The last book I bought: I sold a bunch of books to Half Price yesterday, and bought a bunch more with the cash. They are: Samuel Fuller's autobiography, poetry by Baudelaire, and fiction by Peter Schneider, and, coincidentally, more authors who start with the letter B, Marie-Claire Blais, Paul Bowles, and Heinrich Boll.
3. The last book I read: Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
a. Boomerang by Barry Hannah (or anything else by him)
b. The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
c. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, text by James Agee, photos by Walker Evans
d. Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs
e. Cassavetes on Cassavetes, edited by Ray Carney
5. Tag five people to fill this out: I can't do that. Too much like a chain letter. If you're reading this, have a website, and want to fill out something like this, I tag you.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I finally have some concrete evidence to back up my specious claim that Conor Oberst is an idiot

This is already two months out of date, since Conor Oberst, a.k.a. Bright Eyes, performed his little protest song on "The Tonight Show" a couple of months ago, but I just stumbled across the video of it last night. I'm going to provide the lyrics for you, and comment on them. I feel I'm somewhat vindicated for my embarrassing, poorly written, ill-conceived, childish rant against Bright Eyes back in March on this site. In fact, they're almost cousins, my stupid post and his stupid song, for, while they attack worthy targets (Bright Eyes in my case and George W. Bush in his), they ultimately condemn their authors more than their objects of scorn and protest due to their inarticulate, whiny artlessness. The comparison is otherwise incorrect in that I am not so bad and he is a total dumbfuck. On to the lyrics, and my damning condemnation. Hopefully, he will retire after reading my shaming of him. Oh, will his face be red.

"When the President Talks to God" by Bright Eyes

When the president talks to God
Are the conversations brief or long?
Does he ask to rape our women's rights
And send poor farm kids off to die?
Does God suggest an oil hike
When the president talks to God?

Let's ponder this first verse. Read the second line. It's completely useless. He's already singing throwaway, meaningless lines before he gets to the real meat of his song. What fucking difference does it make whether the conversations are brief or long? He's already marking time. Let the artless soapboxing continue. The third line: How the hell do you rape rights? It's nonsense, but we can infer what he's getting at. Women's rights are being destroyed, blah, blah, blah. If he cares that much about women, why does he refer to them as "our women"? Odd, isn't it? The word "our" implies ownership of these women and, unintentional though it may be, is a far more extreme position than any our current leader W. has put forth. Apparently, whether subliminally or overtly, he feels the country's female population belongs to Saddle Creek Records. On the sunny side, ladies, you may be passed around like currency between Conor and members of The Faint and The Good Life, but he will make sure your rights aren't raped. Next line: Bush "sends poor farm kids off to die." What condescending faux-pity from a privileged urbanite. We're both from the farm-spattered state of Nebraska, so this dick-nut should know better. The age of the small family farm is near-dead. There are still a handful in each town, but the vast majority of farms and ranches are now owned by corporations or wealthy families. This line also implies that these poor farm kids aren't smart enough to know what they're getting into and explicitly makes known that Mr. Oberst must speak for every last one of them for they cannot speak for themselves. I imagine their being sent off to die has less to do with them being farmers and more to do with them being motherfucking teenagers when they sign up for the military. Also, a lot of poor city kids are going over there, too, Ass Eyes, but the line "send poor city kids off to die" doesn't have quite the propagandistic pizzazz, does it? This line is the equivalent of hugging a retard for the benefit of a cheerleader you want to fuck. Alas, I have no time for the absurd oil hike line or why it's in the same verse as farm kids and women's rights.

When the president talks to God
Are the consonants all hard or soft?
Is he resolute all down the line?
Is every issue black or white?
Does what God say ever change his mind
When the president talks to God?

This is fake-ass poetry from a non-poet. My consonants are soft, Conor. Soft and flaccid. They can't get hard. Can't....get.....hard. Condemning Bush for making every issue black and white is funny coming from a song that does the exact same thing. Being tails instead of heads doesn't stop you from being a coin.

When the president talks to God
Does he fake that drawl or merely nod?
Agree which convicts should be killed?
Where prisons should be built and filled?
Which voter fraud must be concealed
When the president talks to God?

Finally, Oberst attacks Bush for specific, documented reasons, though still artless in his delivery. Points immediately lost, however, for attempting to rhyme "concealed" with "killed" and "filled."

When the president talks to God
I wonder which one plays the better cop
We should find some jobs. the ghetto's broke
No, they're lazy, George, I say we don't
Just give 'em more liquor stores and dirty coke
That's what God recommends

You've got the fucking Downing Street memo at your disposal and you're wasting time blaming Bush for liquor stores and cocaine in the ghetto? Maybe he's responsible for the Watts riots, too? With all we've got on this cocksucker, why make up shit?

When the president talks to God
Do they drink near beer and go play golf
While they pick which countries to invade
Which Muslim souls still can be saved?
I guess god just calls a spade a spade
When the president talks to God

The "near beer" thing is a lazy cheapshot at a recovering alcoholic, even if that alcoholic is the asshole who's currently ruining our country. It's like criticizing Mussolini for eating too much cake. Come on, jerk, you've got a lot of ammo. Why are you wasting it shooting at empty cans? Also, Bush doesn't want to convert Muslims. He wants to kill them. Get it straight.

When the president talks to God
Does he ever think that maybe he's not?
That that voice is just inside his head
When he kneels next to the presidential bed
Does he ever smell his own bullshit
When the president talks to God?

The whole song is based on a lie when the truth is right there acting crazier than shit, so I don't get why he doesn't choose the latter. Bush is a fundamentalist, or at least he pretends to be to get votes, which amounts to the same thing if it's influencing legislation, but he's never once said that he actually "talks to God." He's never said that he and God have regular conversations. He did say that he thought God wanted him to be president, which is even nuttier. So why not write a song about that? Or better yet, act like an artist if you are one. Don't tell us exactly what you think so we can feel congratulated if we think the same thing. This is a pamphlet, not a song, and not a very good one.

I doubt it

I doubt it

What a jerk.

If specious reasoning were Rice Krispies, c. 1986 Washington Times columnist John Lofton would have a lot of fucking boxes of Rice Krispies

Since we got DSL last week and I can finally watch streaming video on the compute-box at home, I've been watching Frank Zappa's 1986 appearance on CNN's "Crossfire" multiple times. I'm going to go out on a limb and declare it Zappa's finest work of the eighties. At any rate, it makes a few things abundantly clear. Tom Braden was a pretty ineffective leftist spokesperson, Novak seems to have some common sense but wants to have it both ways, I've only seen 20 episodes of "Crossfire" in my life (liberal estimate) but I can say without fear of being proven wrong that John Lofton is the stupidest man to ever grace that particular program or the newspaper business, and it's a shame that someone as intelligent and vital as Zappa had to die so early even though his best work was behind him. This 19-year-old TV clip has given me a lot of pleasure in the last couple of days, but it's kind of depressing to hear Zappa say that Reagan is pushing the U.S. toward a "fascist theocracy" considering who we've got running the show now. It's even more depressing to think that Zappa, Bill Hicks, and Hunter S. Thompson are no longer around to spread the gospel of informed, humorous, pretense-free, common sense when we need it most. Who's on our side now? Just this nut-twat (speaking of specious reasoning...). I've got an idea. Let's fight fascism with idiocy. Fantastic. You're making us all look stupid. Stop it. Why is everything so fucking dumb? I'm going to eat some Rice Krispies. Whooo!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A joke told by my mother's cousin

A woman has been feeling ill for weeks, so her husband takes her to the doctor. They run some tests on her, and, a few days later, they call with news of the results. The husband answers the phone.
"Well, doctor," he says. "What's wrong with her?"
"Unfortunately," the doctor says, "we had a chart mix-up with another patient, and we don't know which one is your wife's. At any rate, the news isn't good. She's either got AIDS or Alzheimer's."
"Oh my god," the man says. "What should I do?"
"Well," the doctor says. "Drive her three miles into the country and drop her off. If she finds her way back home, don't fuck her."

Ba-dum bum ching!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

If you love smooth jazz, set it free

I found another cassette on top of the mailboxes. It was unlabeled. I took it. It was more smooth jazz. The next day, there was a Luther Vandross tape there. Someone else took it, then brought it back. It's still there. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Forget all your troubles and smile it up, jerks

I deleted a post for the first time, because it was written in drunken anger and the person it was directed toward could have read it. I should have learned my lesson from the whole "punching that rock band guy in the face" fiasco. To make up for the deleted post, here is a photo of a smiling man. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

I found some crappy, sexxxy music when I was outside of my apartment

The wife bought a car several months ago, and the old owner's mix CD was still in it. I tried to listen to it, but it was absolute shit. I decided to bring it into the apartment today and give it another try, because I'm a masochist with a lot of free time (a winning combination!). On my way in, a mysterious cassette tape labeled "mix" was sitting on top of the mailboxes. I couldn't pass that up, either, and snatched it like I've snatched all your hearts. (A digression: Anytime someone in our apartment complex wants to get rid of something no one would ever buy, the silently understood system is to place it either on top of or directly below the mailboxes. Some items I've seen there include troll dolls, keychains, the little plastic couple from a wedding cake, a box full of accounting textbooks, Barry White 8-tracks, and a small vial of mysterious green liquid.) First up, I put the CD in. It was still shit, but this time I sampled all 18 hot tracks. These tracks were truly a combo platter of dung. The mix-maker's taste was catholic, but also reeked of butt. Many genres were disgraced: soul, hip-hop, country, alternative rock, metal, techno, indie rock, pop. There was even a dance version of a Bryan Adams song. Grade: B for Boring. I put the CD on top of the mailboxes. Next, I put in the mystery cassette. For about five minutes, I didn't even realize it was playing. "What is this?" I said to myself. "The sound of nothingness? A black hole? Inertia? Stasis? Did I forget to press play?" Then, I chuckled quietly to myself, for I realized my error. "Lo, it has been playing all along, unbeknownst to these naive vessels of sound I call my ears. And not just playing, but playing smooth jazz! The only music extant that provokes no response, neither emotional, nor intellectual, nor physical! Oh, smooth jazz! Your neutrality amuses me! You are like a particularly unmemorable carpet from an office I never visited!" In between the smooth jazzers, an R&B slow jam advised women to cook and clean for their man because "it's about give and take." A promising thesis, but this songster does not go far enough. Just when I was ready to chuck the cassette back on top of the mailboxes, a beautiful thing happened. An entire soul album followed the smooth jazz-fest. I am going to do some investigating and try to discover the name of the artist and the album, but for now, his identity remains a mystery. All I know so far is that he sounds like a middle-aged man and is fond of fuzz guitar solos, and the production values hint at a 1991-1995 vintage. The album, before it devolves into a series of boring ballads about halfway through, is one of the greatest things I've ever found on a mailbox. All the pre-ballad songs are mid-tempo funk jams detailing what kind of sex the singer is going to have, full of hilariously lazy double entendres and straightforward promises to a "sexy lady" to "get you naked," "get between the sheets," "make love on the floor," make love on the rug," "get the bed squeaking," and "open it wide, because I'm going in wherever I can." The best song is about him catching his "sexy lady" making it with some other guy upstairs while he's watching TV. He's having none of that, but he understands because the "bitch is so sexy" that no one can keep their hands off her. The greatest thing about all of this is that it's sung with a deadly seriousness (un)deserved by the material, like he's singing about drug abuse, AIDS victims, or poverty. He means business. When he sings about "getting freaky," he's singing from the heart. I love how serious he is about making love on rugs. I think I may have stumbled upon a neglected masterpiece, or at least a half-masterpiece. To paraphrase critic Dave Kehr (who was talking about the movie Gone with the Wind), "It isn't all that good, but somehow it's great."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Suplexed by life

I need a job but I don't want one. This thing on my arm is probably skin cancer. I'm slapped by heat every time I leave the house. I didn't get a single e-mail today. No one can discover the origin of the Irish whip or what distinguishes an atomic legdrop from an ordinary legdrop though the legdrops look identical. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes won't stop licking my face. Chinese Democracy still has no release date. The next pope will defect from the church, setting into motion Mideast chaos, WWIII, and the end of days, and the streets will run red with Rexella Van Impe's blood. The new Beck album is underwhelming. Hollywood still hasn't realized the untapped potential of Malcolm Jamal-Warner. I've wasted my life. This post sucks.

(excerpted from my one-man-show For Christ Sakes Why Won't Claire Huxtable Let the Man Eat Just One Hoagie?)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

In our hearts, he'll be born again

W.W.J.D.? Who cares? The real question is H.W.E.T. (How Would Enchiladas Taste?) The answer: Great!
Fact: Jesus has yet to cook a single enchilada.
Fact: Jesus has never once been photographed eating a taco.
Fact: The Apostle Paul once offered Jesus a burrito. He refused it.
The record speaks for itself.
Advantage: Mexican cuisine!

Reading: Heart of Darkness and The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
Listening to: The Twilight Singers
Burning: Up my future

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The liberal media will turn our children into lesbians and terrorists with these dangerous books.

A friend of mine came across this piece of infotainment/lunacy/frightening reactionary nutjobbery, and now I pass it on to you. Read it and weep.

Manifesto of Robotic Self-Love

The Manifesto
1) These words are evil and must be obliterated: Work, Career, Money, Safety, 401k, Oral Surgery, Overtime, Dress Code, Church, Alarm Clock, Stasis, Sunday School.
2) These words are good and must be upheld: Sandwich, Life, Art, Free Time, Pattern Disruption, Sin, Setting Own Schedule, Large Supreme Pizza.
3) If an animal gets in your way, eat it.
4) If a book gets in your way, read it. Unless it's by Dean R. Koontz. In that case, throw it away.
5) Sleep as often as you like. If anyone gets on your case about it, tell them to fuck off.
6) Soul-death is a reality. To prevent this, spend as much time as possible away from the eyeline of the Bossman. Hunker down beneath a desk or table if you have to.
7) Don't let "doctors" tell you how to live. If you like to smoke twelve packs of cigarettes a day and eat lard sandwiches, continue to do so. Quality, baby. Not quantity. Did you know that not a single one of these so-called "doctors" has successfully beaten death?
8) If you waited in line more than 30 minutes to see any of the last three Star Wars movies, may God have mercy on your soul, for I cannot.
9) It is noon. If you have pants on, you have failed somehow. Don't be sad, we are all failures. We will all die. Remove your pants and carry on.
10) Pick some arbitrary category, then debate its merits. Example: "I used to think Stevie Wonder was the best 1970s soul artist. Now I'm leaning toward Curtis Mayfield." This is a good way to waste time.

Reading: Captain Maximus by Barry Hannah
Looking: disheveled, unshaven, tousled, dilapidated

I've got nothing to say...

... except that my former coworkers are some handsome motherfuckers. A fine group of people. If working in an office didn't make me hate my life, I would still be there. One of the reasons I've been dragging my feet getting a new job is that I don't think my next batch of coworkers is going to measure up. I worked in a place where I once overheard a coworker talk about crossbreeding a tomato with a vagina for his garden. This was not an isolated example of bawdy ribaldry. This was par for the course, my friend. Par for the course. Still, a job is a poor substitute for a life and must be destroyed. Work is for jerks. Take this job and shove it. Feel the burn. Where's the beef? Why is there air? My other car is a boat. My son is an honor student at Fuck You Junior High. Don't like my driving? Dial 1-800-EAT-SHIT! I'd rather be snorkeling. Don't blame me, I voted for Alf. Whoo! Yeah! Huzzah! Honk, honk! Beep! Yowzah! Urgh! Snuh! Flerp! Zaz! Yoink! Whirroo!